A morning birding session (for a change) along the track of No.5 tank overlooking No.6 tank. One of the first birds noted was the juvenile Black-necked Grebe which for some reason didn’t reappear for a few hours later. I guess it was up all night and needed a snooze hidden in the reeds below the embankment. Also present were a couple of Little Grebe families scattered across the water. An adult Great Crested Grebe was also active.
It was a bit of a surprise to find that the Common Teal numbers have increased with c100 birds, the majority of which were flushed from the dense Michaelmas Daisy beds. The Tufted Duck flock were present in reduced numbers with 5 Common Pochard.
A juvenile Marsh Harrier was over No.3 tank and a female was seen over No.4 tank. Several Kestrel were noted with Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and two Peregrine including a hunting Peregrine over No.6 tank and the ever-present female on top of the blue-topped chimney.
Shorebirds were virtually absent with a couple of Greenshank seen flying out to the estuary, small numbers of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Lapwing.
Marsh Farm was fairly productive with 3 Yellow and 6 White Wagtail on the banks of Frodsham Score across the Manchester Ship Canal from the farm. Along the pipes on No.1 tank were 7 Wheatear, 23 Linnet, 1 White Wagtail and a flyover Tree Pipit (FW). A small passage of Common Swift were heading south while a charm of 200 Goldfinch are a gathering mixture of adult and juvenile birds.
The highest flock of Canada Goose in the entire country is encamped in the north-west with the Mersey estuary basin being its stronghold and so it would be inevitable that the colour ringing programmes would eventually show their bling on the marsh. I was able to count 8 birds with red colour rings and a couple with green colour rings, it would be interesting to see where they originate from? Also within their midst was a single Barnacle Goose with a neatly twisted piece of blue wire wrapped several times around its foot (did the ringers run out of rings?)
One particular goose which bore a green colour ring with C95 was ringed as a female gosling on 12.8.14 at Baddiley Meres near Nantwich per David Cookson. The Canada Goose were ringed by the RSPCA Ringing Group as part of a project looking at movements to and from Lake Windermere, Cumbria, where the majority are ringed during their annual moult period.
Per Kev Leighton
The British Swan Study Group, British Trust for Ornithology, Cheshire and Wirral Ornithology and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.
Observers: Paul Crawley, Guido D’Isidoro et al, Findlay & Heather (images 2 & 3) Wilde, WSM (images 1 & 4-7).